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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 7, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> thanks for having me. >> for bringing xavier here tonight. xavier, thanks very much for doing your poem for us. really appreciate it. >> thank you for having me here. >> have more fun in new york before you go home. thanks a lot. >> thank you. dick cheney declares war on rand paul. let's play "hardball." good evening i'm chris matthews up in boston. let me start tonight with this great, new enticing republican war between its hawks and its doves. we hear dick cheney is now attacking rand paul for being an isolationist. the sharp reason for cheney's nasty shot at paul which he delivered recently at sheldon adelson's kissing booth could be that paul accused cheney of
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pushing iraq's war because of his connection with the oil equipment company haliburton. in other words, for personal financial gain. the war runs deeper than this on the republican side. rand paul like his father ron thinks the people who got us into the iraq war violated the very nature of their oaths to use the u.s. military power only for the defense of this country. they believe that war was bought for ideological reasons, shrouded in this dishonest claim that iraq had nuclear weapons capable of hitting the u.s. cheney gets more real with each new national opinion poll. his own republican party might denounce him in history by selecting a presidential candidate who openly and starkly turns the party against the bush-cheney record on iraq, one that many now see as the cheney record, given w's far greater passion for oil painting these days than for any more oil warfare. as he stands at his easel, w wouldn't be less interested in defending what was done in iraq,
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including the 106,000 people killed in that misconceived freedom crusade. joining me tonight is david corn, msnbc political analyst and washington bureau chief for mother jones. four books on presidential power including the bush-cheney administration. and his new book "life" about his own autistic's son ability to communicate. dick cheney pushed the iraq war should halliburton could profit. and the article links to a video of rand paul before his senate bill in kentucky ripping into dick cheney. paul is speaking at a student republican event in western kentucky university. let's listen in. >> there's a great youtube movie of dick cheney in 1995 defending bush number 1. and he goes on for about five
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minutes. he's being interviewed by the american enterprise institute. he said it would be a disaster, it would be vastly expensive, it would be a civil war. we would have no exit strategy. he goes on and on for five minutes. dick cheney said it was a bad idea. that's why we didn't go to baghdad. few years later he's back in the government and it's a good idea to go into iraq. 5 richard pearl is coming out of the white house. the first thing richard pearl says is we've got it, now we can go into iraq. and he said don't we need to know they have some connection to 9/11 he says it doesn't matter. it became an excuse. 9/11 became an excuse for a war they already wanted in iraq. >> that's an amazing thing to read something that sounded so
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much like my own and your own critique of the war. it was fought for ideological reasons and financial reasons to who knows what extent. something to do with oil. something to do with this cheney world vision of -- i don't know what it was. something about war. and there to have rand paul sticking it to him on tape. and then cheney at sheldon adelson's kissing booth, sticking it back at him. >> if you listen to that tape closely, and another tape that he said a similar thing, he's actually saying that cheney fought the war to benefit -- or pushed for the war to generate profits for halliburton. that's different than saying with ewant to control oil or the neo-con thing. and then he goes further by saying cheney exploited the horrific tragedy of 9/11 to
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start this war to benefit halliburton. i mean, a lot of critics on the left and a few on the right have said this, but rand paul pushed to a far degree, potentially accusing cheney of betraying the country for profits for his old oil company. >> what do do you make of that charge? i don't know what his fiduciary or financial connection was. once he went into the administration as v.p. was he still making a buck off halliburton? >> i think there were some delayed compensation agreements. it still kicked in later, so if halliburton does well, it probably would be good for him. but, you know, we've talked about this with cheney and george w. bush, trying to sort out their specific motivations for this lousy war and the faulty case they use to present it, sometimes gets hard. there were a lot of different things going on a the once. they had a lot of different reasons to do this. but, you know, as much as i'm a
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critic of some of the things that dick cheney has done, i would even find it hard to believe he actually plotted this war for the lead purpose of enriching halliburton. >> the point is -- but you're reporting is most powerful here. who is asserting this? not you and me. not somebody from the center left or left, a war critic, but somebody ho's definitely a republican, a libertarian at that. what do you make of the fact that rand paul has put hymn on the record -- and we're hearing from the reporting from david's magazine, he has not taken it back. dick cheney, the most recent republican vp and the man behind the war, many people believe, did it for his own financial advantage. that's a hell of a charge. >> i think rand paul is out on a tree limb here that might break. the fact is that he's going to be asked, what proof did you got. the fact is there were many reasons as david talks about for why we went into the war.
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none of them virtually offered to the american people for their decision. here's a case where if cheney had incentives in terms of this war in his own personal compensation, you know, i don't think that that is an easily provable case, even if there's any evidence to show. i think what's interesting here, though, is i think rand paul's desperation, i don't know if that's the right word, but his pointedness here shows the i. >> rack war is very much front and center for this new crowd of republicans. look, ambition, fires and shartens the senses. and here's a case where ambition is driving rand paul to say we don't want to be affiliated with bush cheney, and i'm going to draw a line in the sand. i think he may get other people joining him. because at this point, the fact is, ten years, 1 1 years after that invasion, i think this is when the wheel comes around. i think you're going to find more republicans saying bush and cheney, how do those guys get to call themselves republicans and go after them. >> yeah, i think that's so true.
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by the way, a lot of politics i noticed over the years is what you don't say. the things you hide. and clearly, this party is not out there trumpeting its hawkishness about going into another country. we'll get to this in a minute. the case of dick cheney, always talking to rand. mother judge magazine also obtained secretly recorded audio, as i said, of dick cheney speaking at sheldon adelson's coalition event more than a week ago. it shows the former vp speaking approvingly about bombing iran, israel bombing iran. cheney describes an israel he had with an israeli general who flew defense force missions in 2007. let's listen to cheney's fond recollection of that dinner conversation. >> he said two down, one to go. >> one to go. obviously that means iran.
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>> what's even chilling listening to that, it was not a well recorded tape, but you can hear it if you listen carefully is the audience kind of chuckling and applauding the notion of going to war with iran. and so that was behind closed doors. it's sheldon adelson's, you know, kiss the ring fest last weekend, two weekends ago. and, you know, it's amazing they think they can get away with talking in those terms about yet more war in the middle east. they're looking forward to it, they want it. and, you know, back to the point you made a second ago, chris, i think while the republican party may want to get away from bush and cheney to some degree. >> lot of people in the party, john mccain and bill crystal and others who are not going to sit by and let rand paul define what's going on. this is going to get a whole other aspect of this civil war we've been talking about. >> this doesn't seem to be something like how much money to spend on agricultural supports. you make it 10 or 15 or around 12.
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how do you compromise in the middle between these total hawks who are always, i call it like a pez dispenser. they always have a war they want to fight. there's always one ahead of them they're hungry for. this time it's iran or get into syria. but it's iran primarily. and people who say that was the wrong road to take the last decade. how do you dissolve that grand canyon of difference between hawks and doves in the republican part when you have to pick a candidate? >> you can't. this is like a cage match between two very powerful parts of the party. you see john mccain's desperation a year ago when he heat the senate floor and called them whacko birds. i think the tea party, base of the party is conflicted about this stuff. a lot of them are traditionally reagan hawks but they would like some of the libertarian tea party forget about the rest of the world rhetoric from rand paul and others. i think they're very conflicted.
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but in the republican establishment, it still totes very heavily towards cheney, the neo-cons and bill krystal and they're not going down without a fight. this is a defining fight for the republican party as they see it. >> well, ron, i think that may well be true for rand paul. i think like his father ron paul, he's truly an isolationist in the sense that he wants the u.s. to basically be fortress america, defend ourselves but don't do any adventures overseas and he probably sees both iraq wars in that way. do you think he'll back down and say you know, i was wrong. i'm going to eat the crow and say yeah, we should have gone into iraq twice. we should have lost all those men over there. >> no, no. the big difference is the landscape has changed. we're in a sluggish economy. we have had two wars that yielded so very little that cost so very much. that is indisputable. i think what rand paul is trying to do, and others will follow, this is the new republican
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party. we're moving in another direction. frankly, many of the people in the republican base, say what they are, will struggling right now in this economy. they don't want more foreign wars. and dick cheney said many real men go to tehran for many years. what are the messages of 9/11? you don't lie to the public about a war. no dictator does that. it's too risky. >> the lessons of dick cheney is four or five deferments and then become a hawk. >> what you're finding is that there's a shift in the republican party now where the base is saying, that's not us anymore. and rand paul is definitely speaking to them at this moment, and i think that division, that cage match, as david says, i think it is a case match. i give advantage to the isolationists right now. >> i think we just heard the first guns at fort sumter in a
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republican civil war. coming up, calling out the enemy and naming names. democrats are going after the billionaire koch brothers by name. the democratic is simple, do what those bain capital ads did to mitt romney and bring them down early. also the first tires have hit the road in the christie investigation. grand jurors are now hearing from witnesses up there in jersey and the probe is accelerating. plus, is jeb serious? can you really run for the presidential nomination saying a mexican illegally is actually committing an act of love? that's jeb's words. and back to chris christie, sure got an earful from "the view's" joy bahar at a recent event in jersey. >> stop it, don't bully me.
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guaranteeing professional level results. crest whitestrips. the way to whiten. >> dick cheney and the iraq war also back in the spotlight because of the senate intelligence committee's report on torture. the committee has voted to declassify. yesterday, former cia director michael hayden characterized dianne feinstein's motivation for releasing the report as emotional. he's taking heat from democrats for that. let's listen. >> i read an article this week, and he said that senator feinstein wanted a report so scathing that it would ensure that an un-american brutal program of the intention and interrogation would never again be considered or permitted. now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, chris, may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the senator. but i don't think it leads you to an objective report.
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>> emotional. not a smart word to use about a woman leader. today, democrats including senate leader harry reid and mark udall of the select committee on intelligence took issue with hayden's use of that word, emotional.
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>> welcome back to "hardball." for years, of course, billionaire brothers charles and david koch have backed a massive political network, dedicated to attacking democrats around the country. now democrats say it's time to give them a taste of their own medicine. according to the new york times sunday, quote, democrats believe they have finally found a way to fight back, attacking the brothers' sprawling business conglomerate as callous and indifferent to the lives of ordinary people while pursuing profit and power, paying attention to layoffs by koch subsidiaries across the country. a chemical plant in north carolina, a an oil refinery in alaska. democrats are seeking to make
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villains of the reclusive billionaires. in other words, the goal is to do to the koch brothers what the obama campaign did to bain capital in 2011. this morning, chuck schumer defended the strategy. >> what we're doing is we're showing that these ads that the koch brothers are largely responsible for are showing who's behind them, people who are closing, cutting jobs in alaska, north carolina. the koch brothers aren't just sitting there innocently on the side. they're spending $40 million, $50 million in ads that are not focused on their real agenda, which is just eliminating all regulation on corporations, cutting taxes to virtually nothing, and so there demands a response. i don't feel sorry for them. >> pay attention to that new york city. he's the sharpest knife in the drawer. one example, by the way, of the new strategy is this ad for senator mark begich up in alaska.
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he's been a major target by koch-backed groups this cycle. let's watch the comeback here. >> who's behind the attacks? >> the koch brothers. >> they come into our town. >> just run it into the ground. >> leave a mess. >> a lot of alaskans are losing jobs and i'm definitely concerned about the drinking water. >> i don't tell them and tell them what to do. i don't expect them to come up to alaska and tell us what to do. >> eugene robinson is a pulitzer prize winning columnist and political analyst. and jeremy peters wrote this piece on the koch brothers for "the new york times." i want to start with you, behind every great fortune, there's a great crime. i somehow think that the democratic strategy is to illuminate that, to show the koch brothers aren't rich by accident. they're rich because they're ruthless. >> that's exactly right. that's the plan, that's the plan that barack obama and the democratic superpacs had in 2012
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when they went after bain capital. it's a very targeted and very deeply researched approach that the democrats are taking here. what they' done is they've gone into states with key senate races, arkansas, alaska, north carolina, and look to koch subsidiaries and found there are layoffs. at times layoffs that have coin sided with the purchase of millions of dollars worth of ads in a way to portray the brothers and their company as callous as they are trying to further their own political and business agenda. now is this going to work? i think what the allies of the kochs and what other republicans have told me is the republicans tried this with george sorros. it didn't work. it's hard to get individuals not on the ballot to become household names, people you are in effect voting against at the polls. so i do think we need to take that into account.
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democrat will spend a lot of money doing this, but whether it works i think is a really open question at this point. >> what you do is what you got. they got the names of these guys. they tagged them. people are beginning to know who they are. when i read that ad, that op-ed, probably written by a pr person, probably on the payroll, it makes basically the case against ethanol subsidies. out of nowhere, it's like product placement. does everything they do have to make them money or avoid them paying taxes or get them a break? when i saw that op-ed, i said wait a minute, right in the middle of this ideological pitch against big government was this big thing here defending their own economic interests. they had to pay for that add, it seems to me, in terms of their own marginal profit. >> they got a lot of fingers in a lot of pots. most issues are going to affect them financially. and look, by the way, if you're spending $40 million to $50
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million to try to influence public policy, you're not a private person. you're a public figure. you are fair game. the question that jeremy asked is a reasonable one. will it work? but what are you trying to accomplish? you go into state where is democratic senators are fighting for their lives. and one thing, you know, who knows who the koch brothers are. the democratic base certainry is learning who the koch brothers are, if the base doesn't already know. and one thing democrats have to do is they have to energize the base. they have to raise a lot of money and they've got to energize the base in the states and change the nature of the electorate to the extent possible in order for these democratic senators to have a chance. so to the extent that these attacks energize democrats, i think the strategists could consider this a success. >> someone said all politics are local, tip o'neill. if you could bring into north carolina a chemical plant in
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north carolina, then all of a sudden it doesn't mean somebody offshore is somebody we never heard of, somebody named george sorros, no, it's this guy, this brother who just shut down some jobs in north carolina. that brings it home. and by the way, is the democrat case that -- where the u.s. doesn't work, did it work when it focused on bain capital, costing people to lose their jobs. they were pretty rough, some of those ads. did they work? do we have evidence of that? >> i don't know what evidence there is. it's funny you mention that. a republican strategist e-mailed me last night and he said, you know, hey, i read your story and i just got to say the political scientists that have looked at this found no evidence that any of these ads ever worked. i guess it's a question you should probably ask a political scientist, not me, how you measure something like that. i don't know. i do know what they can do is they can create the perception of candidates as indifferent to the struggles of working people, and that's something you never want when you're running for office.
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but i do think the democrats are treading on thin ice in another key respect. they can overplay this. and you're already starting to hear them hammer this point a lot. harry reid goes to the floor of the senate almost every single day and brings up the koch brothers. and yes, it raises money for them. democrats will tell you, they get back a lot more money than if they don't mention the kochs at all, but in the same way republicans hammer issues like benghazi and the irs, people start to tune that out. it becomes kind of a base-only issue. and i think it has limited effectiveness after a while. >> except that this is going to be a base election. and i'm telling you, look at the intensity factor. your last word. the intensity factor of hatred of obama care and hatred of obama has got to be matched somehow with intensity on the left and the center left, doesn't it? don't they have to find the bad guy here? >> yeah. they have to have intensity on the left.
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what you do is you craft a deferent message for independents and for people in the middle. and a more positive forward looking message that offers a new path or, you know. and you have to do that, or else you lose the election. you have to do both. but if you don't get that intensity among the democratic base, you lose this election. >> thank you. good work on the piece. up next, it was supposed to be a roast for a former governor of the new jersey, but it turned out the joke, well, if you could call it that, was on chris christie. this is "hardball." [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some financial folks who will talk to them about preparing early for retirement
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>> joe biden revealed this week he uses men's clinique to keep his skin smooth, while john boehner revealed he uses weather beater deck stain. >> welcome back to "hardball." time for the side show, of course. that was "weekend update" having fun with a common late night topic. john boehner's complexion. it's been the butt of so many jokes, inside and outside the beltway, he felt the need to claim his look was awe natural. >> i play golf, i ride a bike, cut my own grass, ride a bike. my mother is dark complected.
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i'm a little dark. >> so no tanning bed? >> no, never. >> not a spray ton? >> nothing. >> gnaw to david letterman. late last week, letterman announced he would daal call it quits after more than 30 years on the air. a remarkable run that has playfully mocked politicians. on friday night's "tonight show" jimmy fallon honored dave with a top ten list of his own. >> the top ten reasons i thought of -- top ten reasons letterman is retiring. number 10, he wants to quit while he's still able to compete on "dancing with the stars." number five, hilly-letterman 2016. and the number one reason, jimmy
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fallon is stealing his bits. there you go, everybody. >> last one was the best one. and finally, things got interesting in a recent event honoring brandon burke in his 90s. the roast featured several comedians and yes, chris christie who found himself at the center of the insults including those from joy behar. >> let me take a moment to thank governor christie for holding this event. it was very brave for him. he's had a few tough, right, sir? some tough weeks. don't look at me like that. you're scaring me. don't bully me. don't bully me. why don't you get up here at the microphone instead of being such a coward. >> is that what you're thinking? at least i don't paid for this. >> who would pay you to do this? >> i could say the same thing about you. >> let me put it this way. you're toast, okay?
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>> don't bully me, that's up there with don't tase me, bro. >> federal prosecutors are now calling witnesses to testify before a grand jury. we're going to find out where this case is headed. you're watching "hardball."
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after checking pings under water, crews are resuming searches for the missing plane. black boxes are supposed to emit pings. it's been exactly a month since the plane disappeared.
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back to "hardball." >> we are back. there's been a significant development in the chris christie investigation. it's getting real. federal prosecutors have begun calling witnesses to testify in front of a grand b jury. here's why that's important. the grand jury will ultimately decide whether criminal charges are brout against chris christie himself. david wildstein, bridget kelly, david samson and other players currently embroiled in the george washington bridge and hoboke matters. it also tells us critically important thing about the investigation. it's pretty clear prosecutors are escalating their investigation. in other words, they're building a case and they are very likely honing in on which federal crimes, statutes apply here as the "new york star ledger" reports, what began as a preliminary inquiry into whether federal laws might have been implicated has morphed into a
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deepening criminal probes to determine whether federal laws have actually been broken. and finally, it reus that christie's declarations of innocence don't mean a thing right now. kendall coffey is an msnbc political analyst and brian murphy is an msnbc contributor as well. and former manager of let me start with kendall coffey. give us the significance the fact that we heard that drewniak, his press guy, his spokesperson, christie's spokesperson has been called before a grand jury. what does that tell us? >> welsh it's a very serious development. it confirms that this is, in fact, a serious active federal, criminal investigation. it doesn't mean that charges are ever going to be brought, but if we're thinking of this as a house being constructed, the foundation is clearly there, and it's further confirmation that the feds believe that if there's a set of allegations this could
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be proven, there's clearly federal jurisdiction. they're not fishing around. they have a definite road map as to where they go. at the same time, they recognize there could be all kinds of detours and side roads, depending on what information comes forward. the other significant thing is when you call in a witness who is clearly an insider and who closer, chris, than their prez spokesperson. not too many people are closer than that. when you call in somebody who's clearly in a significant position into a federal grand jury to testify, you have dean lot of homework. you have spoken to a lot of people. you leave looked at tons and tons of documents. so this certainly isn't the final chapter of the book, but it's certainly not chapter one or two. >> which covers news at the department of justice said federal prosecutors also met at david wildstein. quote, he was camped at the office in newark last week, meeting with federal prosecutors investigating the bridge lane
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closings. wildstein's meeting indicate prosecutors may have struck a deal with him. they are also reporting that charlie mcken that, former chief council to christie met secretly in mid january with investigators working for new jersey u.s. attorney powell fishman. let me go now to brian murphy. where do you think the saks action is? is it being led by paul fishman? new jersey? is there any other corollary action that's going to move it along? >> right now we're looking at a serious development. you described it as an escalation. but suddenly there was a question, i think. if you look how it's proceeded so far, right now the legislative committee has been looking at the bridgegate stuff and the u.s. attorney has had dominion over the hoboken related allegations. now we see that those two elements are being brought together in this grand jury investigation. that's a serious -- that's a serious sign that, you know, there had been a question about
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whether or not a federal crime could have been committed with what happened at the gwb, and now it's clear that people in the u.s. attorney's office in newark think that there was. and that they have jurisdiction over that. and they're willing to bring in one of the most public supporters of the governor, one of the most public members of his staff to talk to them. that's a serious development. that's a big deal. >> let me think about this with you, kendall. it seems to me, just look at the possible body of the crime here. if it's deliberate, if there's evidence based on e-mail and other corroborating evidence that there was a deliberate effort to stop traffic or slow down lanes, if that was done for -- as a political punitive measure and it's -- if what i've just given you are the facts of the case, deliberate and a political motive to obstruct people's movements, is that -- does it look to you like a crime? especially in the interstate situation? >> welsh let's start out with state law, new jersey law, official misconduct.
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i think that's a classic event of official misconduct. using political power ufr by virtue of your government position in order to punish or do something that's clearly outsize of what you're authorized to be doing in the scope of public service. clearly a new jersey state crime if it had been proven. federal criminal jurisdiction a little more complex. i think the feds are looking at this was undeniably interstate facility. doesn't get more interstate than this. and if they can show what would amount to an extortion under new jersey law, then that's a violation of 18 usc 1952, proving extortion is not going to be such an obvious situation with respect to bridgegate because we don't have a classic scenario, somebody says you do this or you're going to be punished. we have something more like that, of course, with the situation in hoboken. the feds are looking at both things, and i think, chris, if they can find a pattern and practice of punishment and payback, then i think that's
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going to take them pretty close to thinking they've got the basis for some kind of extortion that combined with interstate facility being used to manipulate it could indeed amount to provable federal crime. >> let's look at the language this guy who's been called before the grand jury, michael drewniak. look at some of the quotes that he's been caught saying. pretty colorful language behind the scenes. last november he told david wildstein, the appointee at the port authority, patrick foi, who shut down the bogus traffic study was, quote, a piece of exkrimt, a piece of excrement. drewniak, the guy who speaks for a governor. he sent this text message. the only problem is david is a true friend of mine. now i can claw his eyes out, poor gasoline in the sockets and light him up. i guess that was somewhat enticing brian murphy through the prosecutors because they've got that guy under oath now
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before a grand jury. >> and that's how he talks about his friends, right? and this is a family show. the thing i've wondered about is the commonality between the two cases. and the temperatures that have been issued in hoboken and brajgate both involve the state party and governor christie's campaign. and other lawyers have suggested to me that they see vulnerability under the rico statute, that all you need are two cases, and it's not as hard to prove the conspiracy. if you're looking for that kind of misconduct -- >> is getting re-elected a criminal enterprise? >> yeah, that's right. and that's the whole -- >> is it? >> that's why the stuff about them squeezing and leaning on and trying to influence and punish the various mayors that they were courting becomes really important. if they were doing something that involved, that serves as
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fraud or official misconduct in trying to pursue those endorsements, once you start looking, you only need to find two cases. >> i'm trying to figure out what the enterprise is. if the enterprise is bullying itself, i don't know. thank you. up next, jeb bush says illegal immigrants who cross the border, this is the most powerful statement made towards 2016, are just doing it to give their family a better life. he calls it an act of love. do most republican, or most americans look upon illegal border crossing as an act of love. will that line of his sell? oh! the name your price tool! you tell them how much you want to pay, and they help you find a policy that fits your budget. i told you to wear something comfortable! this is a polyester blend! whoa!
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two big political announce nlts coming this week. ted kennedy jr. are run for state senate up in connecticut. he'll make the formal announcement tomorrow. and no surprise here, former massachusetts u.s. senator scott brown is ready to run in new -- new hampshire. he'll announce his candidacy thursday. we'll be right back.
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>> will compassionate illegal immigration fly in the primaries? jeb bhush said that in a commemoration of his father's presidency. he announced he would make a decision about running for presidency by the end of this year, but also laid out this vision on how he would run a presidential campaign. he did so by testing his immigration attitude. aun popular issue with the gop base, of course. even prefaced his remarks by saying i know this is on tape, acknowledging how controversial his position is. let's listen to jeb. >> i'm going to say this and it will be on tape and so be it. the way i look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their families,
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you know, a dad who loved their children was worried that their children didn't have food on the table and they wanted to make sure their family was intact and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family, yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. it's kind of -- it's an act of love. it's an act of commitment to your family. i honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that should be -- there should be a price paid, but it shouldn't be -- it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. >> we already have a real-life example of what can happen to a republican who's too forgiving of illegal immigrants. marco rubio still hasn't recovered his standing in the gop. let's talk to some people. ryan grimm and michelle bernard. michelle, let me start with you. it seems to me that jeb is
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saying something very christian, very roman catholic. he is a roman catholic convert. something pope francis could say and it would be unremarkable. but as an american public official whose held public office and is a law enforcement official potentially if he becomes president, to say cross get border from some other country because you choose to do it against u.s. law and just move into the country to get a job illegally is not going to sell. what do you think? act of love. that might be a stretch for the republicans and the democrats maybe. >> well, i think it is a stretch for the most conservative part of the republican party. i love the statements that jeb bush made about immigration reform over the weekend and talking about the fact that the republican party needs to sort of get rid of this notion of idealism and sort of purity test. the difficulty for governor bush if he decides to run is that if you go and you look at what he has to do at a primary level and
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look at conservative websites like and liberty voice, people are out to get him already. they are saying that he and his brother are progressives, hiding as republicans. that his stance on immigration reform, his stance on common core standards and education, his stance on school choice, for example, are no different than the democrats and they don't want him. how he gets over that at a primary level is going to be very difficult for him. i think he is a great -- an excellent general election candidate on the republican ticket, but you know he's not going to do a michele bachmann. we'll never see jeb bush talking about, quote unquote, legitimate rape or getting rid of the violence against women act and that might be what primary voters, conservative primary voters in the republican party are looking for. >> ryan, that phrase "act of love" if it's an act of love for a guy or woman to cross the border illegally ten years ago or ten months ago or ten minutes ago, why is it not an act of love ten years from now?
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what would stop illegal immigration if your attitude is that positive of it in terms of morality? i'm just wondering how it will sell out there in the country? >> i don't think it would sell in a republican primary. jeb obviously knows that. he prefaced that by saying this is on tape. i think this is an indication that he is leaning very heavily against running, and i think his calculation here is like, okay look, i'm going to say what i actually believe. and if the entire right wing of the republican party crumbles off of the planet and the only thing left is the chamber of commerce and me, then sure, maybe i'll take the primary and maybe i have a shot in the general. but i think he's done the math and knows that it's extremely difficult for him to win the primary and extremely difficult for him to win the general, because as centrist or as good of a candidate as he may be, he's still a bush. >> michelle, do you buy that, that he's just committing political suicide here, just
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laying himself down on a matter of principle? >> i don't think he's committing political suicide, i think he really believes what he's saying and i also believe that he is daring the republican party to come back and to be a party that people don't laugh at. there has to be sanity in the republican party, and right now he's the only sane voice. he's right on immigration reform. he's right on common core standards. it doesn't mean that he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. and i think he's doing something really important here. >> well, we'll hear the reaction. it's coming i'm sure. we'll be right back after this. i procrastinated... on buying a car for... because i knew... it would be a scary process. when i was introduced to truecar, i didn't have to second guess myself. i felt more confident... in what i was doing. truecar made it very easy for me... to negotiate what i wanted, because i didn't really need to do any negotiating at all. i just knew from the get-go that i was... flat out getting a good deal.
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let me finish tonight with a story i hope is never finished. it's about a couple of young american kids who we knew when we saw them could do just about whatever they had in their hearts to do. mickey rooney and judy garland. ♪ good morning ♪ it's a lovely morning ♪ good morning ♪ a wonderful day ♪ we danced the whole night through ♪ ♪ good morning, good morning ♪ i said good morning ♪ see the sun is shining ♪ good morning ♪ hear the birdies sing ♪ it's great to stay up late ♪ good morning, good morning >> when it was babes in arms or "strike up the band," the theme was can do. we can put on our own show.
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the cause was always urgent, vital, do or die, to raise money for their out of work parents, to raise money for a high school band contest, to send orphans on an excursion to their country, to save a college. >> our folks think we're babes in arms, huh? i'm going to write a show for us and put it on right here in shreveport. >> the message to america, trust the kids to solve this one, they'll pull it off for sure. mickey rooney, who died on sunday, was the country's top box office attraction in 1939. he beat out spencer tracy for that spot in 1940, clark gable in 1941. it was never as great for him again, maybe never so great for a country, still staggering from the great depression, fearful of a second world war, yet somehow willing to believe. adds franklin roosevelt once said, seeing and feeling the spirit of hope so alive and resilient in the land, much of it because of him, he said thank god our problems are only material.
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mickey rooney, the kid who could, made it to 93. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm ari melber in for chris hayes. there is some important new survey data out today from gallup. it's not about politics but it could have some major implications for politics and the public interest. the data is about how many people have health care in the u.s., and it's good news. gallup is reporting today that the percentage of americans who do not have health insurance has fallen to its lowest rate since 2008. it fell from a high of 18% to about 15.6%. in the first three months of this year, the countdown to the aca deadline, the rate of the uninsured fell 1.5 points. gallup measures in points but let's look in terms of people.


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